Timo Werner and Mason Mount both scored to help send Chelsea into the Champions League final and a showdown against Manchester City with a 2-0 win over Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday that gave the club a 3-1 victory on aggregate in the semifinal.
German striker Werner, who has endured a campaign of stops and starts in his first season with Chelsea, put the home side in control with one of the easiest goals of his career when the ball landed at his feet in the 28th minute after fellow German Kai Havertz struck the bar.
Madrid, a 13-time European champion, was also the lesser of the two teams in the first leg, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Even with Sergio Ramos back after missing the home leg, Real was outplayed by a Chelsea side led by Thomas Tuchel. The German has had a stunning impact in west London since taking over and becomes the first manager to reach consecutive finals with different clubs.
Chelsea should have won by more as it created — and wasted — a host of chances in a dazzling second-half display.
The 22-year-old Mount got the party started in earnest when he converted from close range in the 86th minute to become the second-youngest English player to score in a Champions League semifinal after Wayne Rooney.
The final in Istanbul will be the second in three seasons to feature a pair of English clubs and will give Tuchel, who has revitalized Chelsea since replacing Frank Lampard in January, the chance to make up for last season, when his Paris St. Germain side lost to Bayern Munich.
“We deserved to win,” Tuchel said. “The first half was difficult, they had a lot of possession and made us suffer.”
“In the second half, we could have scored so much earlier, so much more to be safe, but now is no time for criticism. It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.
“It is not done yet, we want to go all the way, we arrive in Istanbul to win.”
Real made a confident start in its famous white shirts on a night that felt more like January than May with a hailstorm erupting shortly before kickoff.
Chelsea ‘keeper Edouard Mendy had to make a couple of routine early saves on shots from Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, but it was the home side whose work was more incisive.
Mount, Havertz and Werner proved to be a real handful for Real’s lumbering defense, while N’Golo Kante, outstanding last week, pulled the strings in midfield.
The hosts should have taken the lead when Werner tapped in Ben Chilwell’s low cross, but the German had strayed offside.
Chelsea took control of the match in the space of a pivotal minute. Mendy started it with a stunning one-handed save in the 27th minute to prevent Karim Benzema’s curling shot from creeping inside the post. Then, at the other end, Kante advanced and played a 1-2 with Werner before sliding a pass to Havertz who casually dinked a lob over Thibaut Courtois.
Time seemed to freeze as the ball floated down and bounced off the crossbar, leaving Werner to tap it into an empty net — his first Champions League goal in open play since September 2019.
Real needed a quick response and almost got one, but Benzema’s header was pushed over by a flying Mendy.
Chelsea might have expected a second-half onslaught from Zinedine Zidane’s side, but the home side kept its foot on the gas.
Havertz, given the nod over Christian Pulisic, headed against the crossbar before Mount blazed a glorious chance over after a flick by Werner left him with only Courtois to beat.
Havertz went through on goal shortly afterwards but shot straight at Courtois, leaving Tuchel apoplectic as the German turned the air blue at Chelsea’s failure to kill off the Spanish side.
Real, with former Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard as a peripheral figure and Luka Modric fading, offered precious little.
Chelsea could finally relax when Kante drove forward yet again and picked out Pulisic, who took his time before sliding the ball across for Mount to score.
“We should have had about five, but the most important thing is that we won,” Mount said.
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